Oct 4, 2012 1:00am EDT
between president barack obama and the republican nominee mitt romney. this debate and the next three are sponsored by the commission on presidential debates. tonight's 90 minutes will be about domestic issues and will follow a format designed by the commission. there will be six 15-minute segments with two-minute answers for the first question then open discussion for the remainder of the segment. thousands of people offered suggestions on questions via the internet and other means. i made the final selections. they were not submitted for approval to the commission or the candidates. the segments will be three on the economy -- one each on health care, the role of goverment, and governing. there will be an emphasis throughout on differences, specifics, and choices. both will have two-minute closing statements. the audience has promised to remain silent. no cheers, applause, or other noisy, distracting things so we may concentrate on what the candidates have to say. there is a noise exception right now as we welcome president obama and governor romney. [applause] welcome to you both.